Faces of Christ
FACES OF CHRIST
By Jane Williams
Lion. 128 pages. £9.99
ISBN 978 0 745 955 223
This attractive book features a full-colour reproduction on every spread. Previously the author has used picture books to explore the themes of Angels, Christmas and Easter, believing that ‘Images reach parts of the human mind that words cannot.’
This collection of 63 marvellous images could raise complex issues about Western religious art — but periods, styles or the changing role of the artist in society need not concern us here: just follow the story of Christ as each episode appears, sometimes with different interpretations by two, or even three, artists. The author has selected artworks to illustrate her text, a summary of the life of Jesus as recorded in the Bible. Details from the images are mentioned to support points in the narrative and pictures run parallel to text as a visual commentary. Helpful captions draw attention to particular views or suggest why one artist depicts things that another omits. Less helpfully, these captions are in tiny italics, not effortlessly legible!
Evangelical readers might long to add more about the meaning of gospel events; nevertheless, to follow the words and pictures in this book is to meditate and marvel afresh. Every stage in the narrative is extraordinary. What Jesus said and did often baffled his family, friends and followers and still constantly challenges our preconceptions. ‘It is not’, stresses the author, ‘a story to hear, but a story to live’. Her gift, as teacher and theologian, is to draw the reader into both text and pictures in astonished apprehension of a remarkable, world-changing sequence of events.
Northern Irish Presbyterian, then L’Abri (Rookmaaker); now lives in Brighton and attends an evangelical Anglican church